I never realized how many things can happen in such a small village! Last week, we taught at the primary school to children who barely spoke English. The school is located very close to our house so it’s a quick walk in the morning. I had the opportunity of teaching Class 6. The first day, the headmaster informed me that I would be teaching them about volume in mathematics and adverbs in English. There were numerous students constantly raising their hands, saying “Madame Ellen, Madame Ellen! Call on me!” and correctly answering the questions. However, when I gave the class individual work to see everyone’s progress, they would ask each other the answers or sneak somebody’s notebook to cheat. As the week progressed, I noticed all of the many quirks of the class and would base my lessons and assignments off of them in order to actually see if they were learning anything. One day, I had to force them to be quiet, do the first problem on the board including work as to how they found their answer, and show to me to check. Once I would check their first problem, I had them finish the rest and turn it in. It was aggravating when I would see one of the students who understood the concept “helping” one of their friends… In the end, I had a fantastic experience- being forced to make lesson plans because the teacher would just give me an English grammar book and leave, discipline the kids without using the cane, and being blessed to have students where the majority of them spoke enough English to understand me, unlike Class 4 with Cole (sorry!).
Towards the end of the week, we just couldn’t handle the kids much longer. At this point, they had seen where we go after school and would follow us to the house. One afternoon, 15 kids were on our floor in the main room. I love the kids, but I was ready for a new adventure! We rode to Adaklu Waya to visit the clinic for orientation. Taylor and I learned the check-in steps such as taking bp, rapid result malaria testing, paperwork, etc.. The clinic is very laid back. On Friday, there were no patients after lunch so we sat around talking to the staff. Yesterday and today, we have been working at the clinic. I have been shadowing the PA in the diagnosis room. We have seen cases of mostly malaria and hypertension, but also a few with STIs, infections, diabetes, rape, and more. Whenever a patient enters the room, the PA greets them in Ewe (“waezo”), asks them if they speak English so I can easily understand (if they don’t, which is essentially every time, he translates for me after they explain their symptoms), and then we discuss their diagnosis and treatment. Also, I find it interesting that the government pretty much determines who becomes a doctor or nurse or PA. The students who have decent grades are asked to go to certain schools. Once they graduate, the government places them in a town or village for 4-5 years. Everyone has national health insurance, so if they bring in a paper called a “scheme”, they do not have to pay for their visit. Their prescriptions usually cost virtually nothing, like around 5 GH cedi.